Peer Review by SparklingEmbers (United States of America)()

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Dancing at Skyfall

By: sprinkledinwords



Her eyes were afire with starlight wonder as she swayed gently against the night, drunk on the moon and loving every single moment. You couldn't have told her that the world was ending or that the falling snowdrops were the ashes of the dying because to tell her the truth would be to break an angel.  So, you allowed her to dance in the would-be wasteland, tripping on her feet and humming a melody out of tune... because oh, if she hadn't had such a beautiful night. The girl she liked had said yes and she'd drunk, and she'd sang, and she hadn't fallen in her heels this time. Her youth had reached its peak and the streets of her beginnings held out their arms so they might catch her if she were to fall. It was wonderous magic, a sight to behold and you bathed in her bliss so you could remind her of this night. This night, that would now last forever, thanks to you.
If life had to die, let it die while it danced. The moon was growing dimmer and the girl was dancing and, overhead, hidden by the witching hour, you blew out the stars.

You glanced back at the night she’d had, strolling through her rapture as the clouds began to weep. Her memories swam in swirls of white wine, all the while dipped in candlelight. She’d been reluctant to go at first; big crowds and overpriced meals didn’t tend to excite her but, there was someone there she wanted to see, and you may have given her the extra push she needed. It was wrong really, to meddle in their affairs but, well the sky was falling, and you just couldn’t help it. So, the girl had gone, and she’d worn that dress she’d brought for a special occasion and finally gotten her hair under control… and it was worth every penny. She’d spotted the girl from across the room, the way they do in sonnets, and oh gods she just adored her. She’d shown that smile that made her shine in a way that put even the stars to shame and her heart melted at the sight. The dancer had approached her with the courage only young girls have and they watched each other flutter as the conversation started. They’d talked like old friends and giggled into their glasses, soaking in every second of their shared time. And then finally, finally, she’d asked her the question and her love had said yes! And the rest of the night wrote itself.
It was a shame that it had to end, but of course all things must. You thought that she would be disheartened or at least a little sad, but when she left the hall with her heels in her hand, she belonged to an inspiring euphoria. One you’d seen countless times but always felt new and you were pleasantly surprised at her giddy little soul because now you knew. You could rattle her heart until it sang. She’d left at sun set and wandered into an approaching twilight, which is when you’d stopped to watch her – blissfully unaware of the impending apocalypse and brimming with glee like an overflowing glass.
Now, dusk had been and gone and the dream-walker had flown into the endless night, yet she seemed forever caught in the eventide of time, immune to the empty promise of dawn. Above her, the stars flickered and burnt, parading around in the sky like makeshift fireworks. The dying embers flew around her like fireflies and she stumbled on the streets that had started to splinter. Her shoes fell from her hand, but she laughed as her daydreamed shattered and she fell towards a streetlight. Her dimming melody emptied the air and a fitting silence nestled into the vacancy, the sudden lull carving the way for the devastation that was inbound. 
This never-ending night had been foretold but those tales had been awash with screams and pain. You’d look to them for inspiration of course, but all of them had seemed much too noisy. However, as you watched the girl soak in the silence, now aware of the sky painted scarlet, the silence seemed to attract a menacing evil. So, you sent a gust of wind to whisper sweet nothings into her ear, releasing a symphony to lull the dancer back into her fantasy. Of course, she had grown too aware of the impending darkness and even a daydreamer such as her couldn’t remain ignorant for long. However, she greeted your gift with an acknowledging smile and lent back against the pole. Her mind was swimming in the glasses of champagne she’d fallen prey to not three hours earlier, which must’ve helped her stay calm as the world fell apart. Yes, the sky was burning, and all the lights had gone out but in two minutes the world would greet the end of time the way the streets had welcomed her, and while this should be a sad thing, the place that awaited them could soak them in an everlasting bliss. Life had had its turn, now it was yours.
The minutes fell into seconds and the scarlet bled into crimson and the last star bid farewell. The end had crept forwards and now it was their turn to let go of the light. She closed her eyes and slowly gave herself to the shadows.
One by one you plucked them out, guiding them towards the stolen light but letting them sway towards their chosen path. You kept a watchful eye on the dancer and her dreamer and kept watching as they moved weightlessly into each other’s arms. Then you worked your magic and both marvelled at the other as their newfound wings spread wide like a moonflower opening its white flowers. They twirled clumsily around each other until they were dancing above ground and within minutes both flew, hand in hand, into your arms. Their love, their bliss, immortalised.

 


Peer Review

It's really intriguing the way you use the word 'you' as if you're inviting the reader to be fully active in the story, as if they have a role to play. You're description is also very magnetizing, the first sentence and I was drawn in, ready to know more.


You do a good job of making this character alive because you give her aspects of feeling that a normal person has. You mention at one point that I couldn't have told her the world was ending, because that would break her. I feel like the character wanted a sense of distraction or was oblivious from what was going on around her and if she suddenly became aware, she wouldn't be accepting of the news which I think is a perfect trait. You make her well rounded because she's naive and the way you're wording it it's making it seem like, to tell her would break both my heart and hers.


The whole 'the world is ending' thing intrigued me. Maybe you want to leave it as a mystery, but I think if you mentioned how or why, the cause, towards the end, it may help your reader understand the circumstances. Or, a mystery works just as well.


I feel like this novel may take place in a dystopian world or apocalyptic world, and you made this clear by stating the waste lands and the very obvious- the world is ending. You could make the setting stronger by providing senses (see hear touch etc) if you wanted. Or it could be symbolic for the world we're living in now, which I also think is a great thing, maybe include hints to help the reader know what time period it's in.


Your use of figurative language really pulled me into the story, I didn't find it boring or long at all, I was actually hooked from beginning to end, which is a good thing.


Reviewer Comments

This is a really great excerpt, your writing style is very descriptive and you really give the reader a sense of what's going on and what the character is feeling, along with a threat, if she were ever told what actually happened, she would be crushed, and no one wants that.